10 tips for packing a PODS Container

If you have been following my blog, you will remember that I sold my townhouse and moved in to my Wife's highrise condo. She already had furniture plus I think my late Canadian Bachelor furniture didn't quite win the popularity contest so my furniture needed to go somewhere.

Having all this 'extra' furniture certainly made the building of the Cottage an urgent matter. Plus ripe with cash from the sale of the townhouse I could now afford to build it.

Anyway... the Cottage is not yet built so temporary storage was required. As described in an earlier post (See "Moving And Storage" May 1, 2008) we selected a storage solution from PODS.

Sunday, May 11th was the day we packed the PODS storage container but let's step back a bit.

The PODS container was delivered the day before (Saturday), and unfortunately I was not able to be there to receive it. (Opening day tournament at our golf club beckoned!). Fortunately my son agreed to be on the stop to receive the drive. On the way to the golf course Nathan, my son called, saying that the PODS container would not fit in the driveway. Or to be correct it would fit but the lift mechanism they use to place it wouldn't fit. The problem was that the crabapple trees on the front lawn over hang the driveway and do not provide the needed 11 feet of clearance. A quick request of our neighbours, who fortunately do not have a car, and a near catastrophe is averted.

In fact the having the storage container next door and freeing our driveway actually made the move much easier. Not only was access to the garage now unobstructed the access from the front door and to the PODS container was much easier.

Moving Day!
I am fortunate to have three strapping adult sons, and they all arrived early Sunday morning to help in the move. The middle one, kept saying... "Dad, there is just not way that all this stuff is going to fit!" I have to admit the task looked daunting, even with the largest container that PODS provides, 8' x 8' x 16', my mind's eye had that tiny bit of doubt as well.

We set to the task, and by just after 12 noon, the task was complete. All my furniture, less the appliances, as the were staying, was in the PODS container. It was very tight, all the space was used, side to side, top to bottom, and end to end! And that was the trick!

Here are the 10 tips or lessons I learned in packing a PODS Container:
  1. Make sure everything is well packed in boxes - loose items waste space - big time!
  2. Match the size of the box to the weight of the material. Use smaller boxes for heavy stuff like books and dishes, and larger boxes like linen.
  3. Use the indented portions of the container walls to store flat items like pictures and mirrors and awkward items like poles.
  4. Use mattresses and box springs to line the walls both holding the items in the indents secure and providing a soft wall to place items like china cabinets.
  5. Place the sofa on its end.
  6. Place heavy boxes on the bottom and lighter boxes on the top of furniture
  7. Think like a puzzle master - make every space count - use the inside of bureaus, dressers and drawers (just do it after you have moved them...
  8. Tie down the furniture every four feet - place your furniture to take advantage of this tie down location by placing flat items like the backs of china cabinets and bookcases so you can use them like walls every four feet.
  9. One person, let's call them the foreman, should be responsible for the packing, and be permanently stationed in the PODS container. The rest of the moving team is responsible for bring the materials to the container, and placing them where the foreman suggests. The foreman provides guidance to the moving team to bring the right shaped items - "I need a box this size to fit there..." or "I need the mattresses now..." etc.
  10. Start early, provide lots of water and drinks, and wear a smile
Bottomline, you have to plan the move, including planning where things need to go into the storage container.

The container was filled and padlocked and read for removal by 1 PM. We started at 9 am. Actually the container was picked up promptly Monday morning and is sitting in a warehouse somewhere in the outskirts of Ottawa.

Next event will be retrieving the storage container, delivering it to the Cottage and an unpacking it. If all goes well that event could be as early as August!